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Valetnine-Book-Photo 2Valentines and Friendship Writing Project

During the month of February we focused on the importance of friendship and writing about it. I generally started with a patterned sentence where the students were required to add one or two of their own words. A sample of a patterned sentence is outlined below. However, I still encouraged students to write their own if they wished (this varied depending on skill level). If you are a member, the templates to complete this project are provided for you in the Valentines theme unit.


___________ is a _______________friend.




Preparing for Writing Success and Independence

Modeling any activity you wish your students to complete prior to assigning it, is the key to success. Together as a class we would brainstorm for ideas and I would model the writing process.  I would also model how I would plan what to draw.  We would also brainstorm for possible high frequency words that could be used and I would ensure these were readily available for the students as a reference.


Letter Formation and Picture Guide

In observing my students I also learned that that some needed a letter formation guide with a picture clue of what sound that letter makes.   If you are a member, login to your account and access this printing and sound guide from the link “Alphabet Program” and the “Alphabet Pictures”.


Working In Small Groups

I preferred to work in small groups to ensure the children were leaving spaces between words, assisting those children that still needed assistance with proper letter formation and sounding out words.  Sometimes I would swap guided reading small group for guided writing small group.




What Do The Other Students Do When Working With Small Groups?

A dilemma that every teacher faces is what to do with the other students when working in a small group setting.  I still see so much value in play activities that encourage fine-motor development and thinking. These activities are still very educational and require very little intervention and the students view them as fun!  I teach grade one currently and my students are allowed to engage in these activities when they have completed their work.  My favourite activities are outlined below:


1.  lego, duplo and other blocks



2.  pattern blocks

3.  playdough

4.  how to draw sheets and books

5.  colouring sheets

6.  squizs

7.  magformers


All individuals that post an activity that they use to engage their remaining students, while working with a small group, will receive a free theme of their choosing.  Just e-mail me that you posted a comment and I will reply with the information that I need from you.


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12 Responses

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  1. I always include gross motor activities with the children I work with. We sing songs loudly with big gestures and then repeat quietly to help bring a calm to the group.

  2. My Kindergarten and Grade One students do puzzles, read the room page, or colour in their printable readers.

  3. I also like to do stamps and letter magnets. They can stamp randomly or try to do the abc’s in order or stamp words depending on their level and interest.
    Little magnet bars with balls that can hook together to make all kinds of things including three d shapes and tops.
    Reading by themselves, with a buddy or a stuffed animal.

    1. I also use the magnet bars with the balls.

  4. This is a great unit because it gives the children the opportunity to express how they feel about friendship and the friends that they make. Friendship is a key factor in early childhood, because it helps set part of the cornerstone for life long friends and it helps them in the social aspects of life.

  5. I am a kindergarten teacher and I usually print out coloring sheets to engage my remaining students whilst I work with a small group or a 1:1 base

  6. My students have seat work based on the weekly lesson that may include a grammar, phonics, phonemic awareness, writing or reading comprehension assignment. When they are finished they are allowed to interact in a puzzle center, lego and blocks, painting center, craft center or housekeeping area.

  7. My students love using manipulatives during small group instruction. I many different types of erasers, small bears, etc. for counting

  8. I teach five year olds. When I am working with a small group I usually have my other small group working on the Smartboard, either with Math games or letter sounds. 141

  9. Hi there
    Activities that will occupy your children’s time are
    1. Snipping or cutting activities. You can hv strips ready for them to just snip, cut a straight line, curved line or ‘w’. Strips can be about 1-2 inches wide. Remember to set guide lines of handling scissors first. The cut paper can then be used for pasting. Keep their cuttings in an envelop first if they do not want to paste yet.
    2. Pasting. – used old wrappers that hv designs and patterns and use it for pasting. For children who can’t cut, you cut around a shape and let them use it for pasting. Leave them in a tray or plate for them.
    3. Set up some jugs and let the children do some pouring
    4. Set up two different containers or even three. Let children do sorting. Could be just transferring of objects from one container to another using tongs or tweezers, and even with chopsticks for the older ones. etc. You can sort out objects of same shapes, colours etc.
    This alone can be expanded to many trays of activities. All these will help your children with their motor skills, pincer grip and concentration!
    Hope this helps. There are lots more things.

  10. I love your small group activity ideas!

  11. I love your ideas for small group activities! I also do a lot of art center in small groups especially with painting.7000

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